The economics behind the Adderall shortage: Why low prices lead to scarcity

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On October 12, 2022, the FDA confirmed what many patients with attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) already knew: There was a shortage of the immediate-release formulation of amphetamine mixed salts commonly known by the brand name Adderall. The implications of this announcement have rippled across the United States, affecting scores of patients reliant on the medication. More than six million adolescents in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the CDC. In addition, another eight million adults, or roughly 5% of Americans, have the condition.

A dramatic drop in prescriptions

According to data from Definitive Healthcare, Adderall prescriptions fell 24% in January 2023, marking the largest month-over-month drop in more than two years.

Definitive Healthcare derives this data from their ClaimsMx product, which collects and updates information mon…

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